Conditions continue to deteriorate. Humanitarian activities face major obstacles. One year of war and neglect: Sudan today

Among the obstacles are continuous electricity blackouts and interruptions to the internet and telecommunications networks; exponentially increased fuel prices; shortages of basic goods; and difficulties in procuring essential medicines and equipment.

One year after the outbreak of war, EMERGENCY’s interventions in Sudan face enormous difficulties that jeopardise the survival of the population and the viability of our projects in the country.

The interruption of the networks has slowed down communications between Khartoum and the other hospitals, and with the Coordination Offices in Italy. This restriction has also compromised our remote contact with patients from the Salam Centre. Suffice to say that in the course of one year of war, we have lost contact with more than 1,000 of our cardiac patients who need to receive treatment and lifelong therapies. They cannot reach us or contact us. The absence of a network has also made it very difficult to make online bank transfers, preventing the procurement of materials and medicines as well as salary payments to our Sudanese staff.”

Franco Masini, Medical Coordinator at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery

Testimonies from Khartoum

Since the conflict began there have been many difficulties – particularly in Khartoum, which was heavily affected by the fighting – but today the increasingly frequent power cuts, the interruption of internet connectivity, and difficulties in obtaining new visas for international staff, including healthcare workers, are seriously impacting the population’s access to services and EMERGENCY’s operations.

“We are now on the 23rd day of blackout,” says Andrea Canneva, EMERGENCY Logistics Coordinator in Sudan. “Our generators support the hospital’s activities 24 hours a day. With the intensification of the clashes, finding diesel is more and more challenging and the price of fuel has skyrocketed.”

The price of fuel has risen seven-fold, with disastrous consequences for our programme “operating costs […] as well as the mobility of patients who cannot afford to cover the costs required to reach us from other parts of the country,” explains Manahel Bader, Head Nurse.

“In a situation where power grid blackouts are continuous, fuel is essential to power the generators that ensure the continuation of the hospital’s activities, like in the operating theatres. But the cost has risen from about one euro per litre to seven.”

Manahel Bader, Head Nurse at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery

Testimonies from Port Sudan

While many have fled from Khartoum, Port Sudan – now the de facto capital of Sudan – is filled with people. In the last few months, around 500,000 displaced people have reached eastern Sudan. About 270,000 displaced people are in Port Sudan alone.

Families unable to afford accommodation sleep in the streets. There is a lack of water and sanitation, encouraging the spread of diseases like cholera.

“In our Paediatric Centre, we treat malnourished children with respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract diseases. Admissions have almost doubled compared to the pre-war average.

Franco Masini, Medical Coordinator at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery

April 2024: our commitment to the country continues

Since the first days of fighting, we have chosen to remain in Sudan, standing by our patients.

One year after the outbreak of war, despite the limitations and obstacles that constantly threaten the viability of our projects, our 586 colleagues throughout the country (566 of whom are Sudanese) work to guarantee medical assistance in:

Due to complex security conditions, activities are currently suspended at the Mayo Paediatric Centre and the Cardiology Outpatient Clinic in Wad Madani.

One of the world’s worst humanitarian crises

It took only a few weeks after 15 April 2023 for the eyes of the world to move on from Sudan and the ongoing war between the government army and paramilitary troops of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Yet after one year of war, Sudan has 6.5 million internally displaced people – the most IDPs of anywhere in the world – and 24.8 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2024.

Approximately 65% of the population has no access to healthcare and 70% of hospital facilities in the areas affected by the fighting are no longer functional.

Data: OCHA


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